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GAME STORY: Maple Leafs 5, Devils 4 OT

After a strong effort thorughout the game, the Devils fall in overtime to the Maple Leafs

by Catherine Bogart / NewJerseyDevils.com

NEWARK, NJ - Although the Devils were strong throughout the game, New Jersey fell in overtime to Toronto.

A misplay by Damon Severson ended up in the back of the Devils net, giving the visiting team the win. William Nylander was credited with the goal for the Maple Leafs.

"It's a tough bounce on the end," said Interim Head Coach Alain Nasreddine. "You can't get down on [Severson] he's trying to get the puck out of the way. It's an unfortunate bounce."

After the game, the team embraced and reassured Severson. The solidarity of the team is something the defenseman appreciated.

"That's one of the things about this group that we still do have no matter what the situation is, we stick together."

Video: POST GAME | Devils Suffer OT Loss to Leafs

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The Devils opened the scoring in the first five minutes of the first period. Jesper Bratt battled behind net and fired a feed to Nico Hischier who ripped one off the post to make it 1-0 Devils.

With just under seven minutes left in the first frame, Miles Wood was called for highsticking and was sent to the box for four minutes.

Although the Devils were strong on the penalty kill and had some offensive zone time shorthanded, the Maple Leafs scored a power play goal in the final 30 seconds of the double minor. Blackwood stopped Morgan Rielly's initial shot but Zach Hyman followed up and snuck one past the Devils goaltender.

One minute later, the Maple Leafs make it 2-1 after Ilya Mikheyev redirected John Tavares's shot.

The Devils came out with energy at the start of the second period. The Maple Leafs had some penalty trouble in the first few minutes of the period after they were called for two penalties within five seconds. First Marner was called for tripping and right after Muzzin was sent to the box for delaying the game.

Nine seconds into the 5-on-3 advantage for the Devils, Nikita Gusev scored to tie the game. The rebound of Sami Vanaten shot popped to Gusev who ripped one upstairs and scored.

Toronto regained their lead with just under 15 minutes left on the clock. Alexander Kerfoot fed Kasperi Kapanen up ice who snapped it high against Blackwood and scored making it 3-2 Toronto.

The Devils responded with two goals and regained the lead in the second period. Kyle Palmieri stole the puck from Toronto, skated into the high slot, and his wrister on net fired past Hutchinson. Three minutes later, Palmieri and Bratt were two-on-one going up ice. Palmieri passed to Jesper Bratt who shot high and scored, putting the Devils up by one against Toronto.

Toronto Captain, John Tavares, scored on the power play with 11:45 on the clock to tie the game in the third period.

With less than two minutes left in the game, both teams received minors, Miles Wood for holding and Zach Hyman for embellishment. The Maple Leafs would then get a 4-on-3 advantage after Coleman was called for slashing with 29 seconds left in the period.

The Maple Leafs started overtime on the power play, but the Devils penalty kill came up strong and killed off the penalty. Blackwood had a huge save as the penalty expired to keep it 4-4.

The Devils started overtime on the penalty kill and were able to keep Toronto off the board. Then with 2:22 left in the overtime period, Alexander Nylander scored to give the visitors the win.

Kyle Palmieri and Nico Hischier each had 3 points in the loss.

Mackenzie Blackwood finished the game with 32 saves on 37 shots.

Although the team walked away with one point, Interim Head Coach Alain Nasreddine was happy with his team's performance.

"I was really happy with the effort in general," said Nasreddine. "I like how resilient we were throughout the game."

"I thought we played well enough," said Palmieri. "First period I think we had a little trouble with them. Second period I thought we did a better job playing to our strengths, third period was pretty even."

"They scored, we scored, we didn't sag, we didn't sit back,"  said Captain Andy Greene after the loss. "We tried to get the next one, or at least get some momentum there."

"It's a tough one to swallow," said Palmieri. "We'll come and take a look at some things we can do better heading into Ottawa this weekend."

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